Ferrari is celebrating a big moment this year, as it was 70 years ago that the world’s first Ferrari-badged car, the 125 S, made its debut. To commemorate this big year, the Prancing Horse went on tour, putting some of its most iconic cars up for display in various cities around the world.
Earlier this month, over the course of three unusually warm October days, Ferrari swung by the Big Apple, setting up displays in Midtown Manhattan for thousands of eyes to gaze over. One of the grandest displays was at the world-famous Rockefeller Center and featured a special car from each of the last seven decades.
1949 Ferrari 166 MM
The Ferrari 166 was the follow-up to the 125 and the 166 MM Barchetta variant (MM standing for Mille Miglia, an Italian road race that 166 models won twice) was named by our friends at Motor Trend Classic as one of the 10 Greatest Ferraris of All Time. It shared many components with the 125, including the Aurelio Lampredi-designed tube frame, double wishbone and live axle suspension, and it was powered by the Colombo V-12, though displacement was up from 1.5-liters to 2.0. Only 39 examples were made between 1948 and 1953.
1963 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder
Ferrari’s 250 series of cars was the first indication of volume production from the brand, with race cars and road cars sharing many chassis and engine components and more body styles on offer than ever before. The Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder, famous in part for its role in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” is particularly special because of its seductive bodywork and exhaust note from its 3.0-liter Colombo V-12. Motor Trend Classic placed the 250 GT California Spyder on its list of the “Greatest Ferraris of All Time.”
1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 “Daytona”
Hot on the heels of the reveal of the radical Lamborghini Miura, the debut of the 365 GTB/4 at the 1968 Paris Motor Show could have been regarded as slightly disappointing. Ferrari was yet unwilling to offer customers a mid-engined V-12-powered supercar, believing such a configuration to be too dangerous for non-professional drivers. Nevertheless, the 365 GTB/4, unofficially referred to as the “Daytona” after Ferrari’s 1-2-3 sweep of the 1967 24 Hours of Daytona, would be the last front-engined, two-seat, 12-cylinder Ferrari made until the launch of the 550 Maranello in 1996. With an equally iconic body penned by Pininfarina, the 365 GTB/4 is unmistakable. Power comes from a 4.4-liter Colombo V-12 with six Weber carburetors, resulting in a 0-60 time of just 5.4 seconds.
1985 Ferrari 288 GTO
The Ferrari 288 GTO is more extreme version of the 308 GTB that was designed to meet homologation requirements for the wild Group B racing series. In order for it to compete, Ferrari had to produce a minimum of 200 cars. Unfortunately, the series was canceled before the cars had a chance to compete, so all 272 cars built were converted for comfortable road use. It is one of Ferrari’s few turbocharged automobiles, sporting a 2.9L twin-turbo V-8 good for 400 horses and a 0-60 time of just 5.0 seconds. More than that, the 288 GTO ushered in the contemporary Ferrari supercar, the first of a lineage that leads straight to the current LaFerrari.
1993 Ferrari 512 TR
When the Testarossa launched in 1984 with its distinctive side strakes, designed to funnel air to the radiators inside each rear fender, no one knew that nearly a decade later the car would still be in production. That’s how advanced a design it really was. With a mid-mounted, naturally-aspirated, 4.9-liter flat-twelve, the 512 TR was an update on the original Testarossa, with a focus on refinement. Testarossa production finally ended in 1996 with the F512 M being the ultimate iteration.
F2001 Chassis #211, Michael Schumacher’s 2001 Grand Prix de Monaco-winning Car
On the northern end of Rockefeller Center sat the Ferrari F2001 Chassis #211, the exact one Michael Schumacher piloted to victory at the 2001 Grand Prix de Monaco, his fourth win of the season. Schumacher finished 2001 with a record nine wins, as well as five second-place finishes, clenching the driver’s championship by a record 58 points. RM Sothebys recently announced that Chassis #211 will be up for sale at its Contemporary Art Evening Auction on November 16, right here in the Big Apple, where it’s expected to sell for around $4 million (though we feel that estimate is light–perhaps by a large margin).
2005 Ferrari 575 Superamerica
Like the 512 TR, the Ferrari 575 Superamerica is based on a car from a decade earlier. The 575 came around in 2002 as an extensive rework of the 550 Maranello, which was offered from 1996 to 2001, offering substantial mechanical improvements that increased both performance and overall drivability. The 575 Superamerica arrived in 2005 featuring a bespoke electrochromic glass panel roof that rotates 180 degrees when going up or down. Go-power comes from a 540-horsepower 5.7-liter V-12 and the 575 was the last two-seat, V-12 Ferrari to be offered with a manual transmission–though most buyers chose the F1-style paddle-shift unit instead.
2017 Ferrari 488 Challenge
The 488 Challenge is the latest offering for Ferrari’s Challenge Series – a spec-race series that began in the early ‘90s with the 348 in which well-heeled, would-be racers duke it out in largely identical-spec, race-modified versions of the latest entry-level mid-engine Ferrari. A 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, delivering 661 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque powers the latest 488 Challenge.
2017 LaFerrari Aperta
Last but not least, at the center of the display sat one of 210 examples of the LaFerrari Aperta. As the topless version to the original LaFerrari, it equally comes with as much exclusivity. Only 200 will be sold worldwide to private customers, while nine have been allotted specifically for Ferrari’s 70th anniversary celebrations. This white Aperta is one of those nine. Power comes from Ferrari’s first-ever hybrid powertrain, a 6.3-liter V-12 equipped with F1-style KERS regeneration that serves up as much as 950 horsepower when at full blast.